What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

June 25th, 2020


What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

A common question about diabetes is about the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. To first understand this, it’s helpful to understand what happens when you have diabetes. When you have diabetes two things occur. First your pancreas could be making little or not enough of a hormone called insulin. Second, your body can be preventing the insulin made from working right. This causes sugar to be unable to get into your cells, so it stays in your blood. This is why your blood sugar can get too high, which is called hyperglycemia.

With type 1 diabetes, your body makes little or no insulin. Because of this, someone with type 1 diabetes has to take insulin everyday. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease and is not caused by or prevented by diet or exercise.
With type 2 diabetes, your body prevents insulin it is making from correctly working. Your body makes insulin but not enough.

Type 2 diabetes is a more common type of diabetes and usually happens when you are older or overweight. It can be controlled with the help of changes to your lifestyle and medications (which could be pills, injections, and/or insulin).

Your body needs sugar for energy. Sugar your body gets from carbohydrates in your food causes your blood sugar levels to go up. When your body makes enough and uses insulin correctly, it will lower your blood sugar level.

If you have diabetes, our dietitians would love to join your healthcare team to work with you to learn more about the different ways you can help control your blood sugar.

Filed In: Diabetes


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